Dear Ones –
Firstly, let me tell you that I miss you all — very much! Seems hardly possible that we no longer have Tuesdays 11:00 – 2:00 together. (For some of you, I’m sure, that’s a happy prospect!) 🙂 Secondly, I’d like to commend Ivette for her persistent, valiant attempts at getting together a study group, and her pursuant attempt to cull a bit of sanity from all directions before you sit down to your respective projects.
In response to Ivette’s open question about how to proceed, I have a suggestion or two….. All along, I’ve been trying to make connections for you; or, more accurately, I’ve been trying to get you to make connections among the poets and poems we’ve read, and among the concepts we’ve shared. Connections are everything. Poets, poems, ideas standing on their own as islands unto themselves do not “knowledge” make. In approaching this project, complete the picture of Modernism for yourself as much as possible. That’s the trick. Read, reread, think… mull things over…. puzzle out where and how the pieces fit. “The Waste Land” should be revisited with that eye: look to it to answer questions for you. How, for example, does “The Waste Land” bring much of what you’ve learned into one poetic statement or set of statements? How does “The Waste Land” function as a culminating piece for the entire semester’s work?
Yes, Ivette is right in pointing out that I do not want a catalogue of what you have learned from A to Z. That will surely put you to sleep in the writing and kill me in the reading of it. Bring what you’ve learned together into a synthesized, symphonic piece, thematically organized, with each part working in tandem or synergistically with all the others. Bring your ideas all under one “umbrella,” or tether them with an underlying thread. Make it a “journey” — a creative piece that’s also thoughtful and honest.
Take several days to do this little by little. If you sit to it on Monday night, it will be a disaster — I promise you that. You will have questions along the way. Post them here. I’ll answer them. Others might answer them, too. You do not want to be guilty of inaccuracies or misunderstandings or gaps in your knowledge; that’s shoddy scholarship. Reconcile those by asking questions. Make the process of your writing a process of learning. I care just as much about that process as I do about the product you will turn in on Tuesday, next.
Speak to me!!